Should Plastic Bags be Outlawed?

When you buy those apples at the market they come in a plastic case. When you take them home you put them in a plastic bag. When you get home you realise that your kitchen has plastic everywhere. It’s almost impossible to live without it. In facts books have been written to find ways to live free from plastic – yes, it’s honestly that hard. New studies have shown that they can contaminate the seas and rivers with chemicals as they break down in the environment.

People should make proper choices to reduce their impact on the Earth. However, many countries and government currently don’t make such distinction and allow the use of mass use plastics. It was also found that 91% of plastics are not recycled and simply dumped in to the oceans. So, on  environmental it make sense to do so, but it creates problems about how we find alternatives, of which there are currently none.

Questions arising from this are:

  1. If plastic bags are dangerous, why can’t all plastics be banned?
  2. What alternatives to plastic do we have?
  3. What will happen to the plastic already in the ocean?
  4. Who will pay for this?
  5. Who is responsible for the plastic in oceans?
  6. How can it be prevented in the first place?

Video: How much plastic is in the ocean?

Great little video by ‘It’s Okay To Be Smart’ talking about nations which are seeking a total ban on plastics and the effects of plastics on the planet.

Pre-teach Vocab

  1. Filth (Noun, dirty or not clean)
  2. Garbage (Noun, American English for rubbish)
  3. Technique (Noun, a method)
  4. Fleet (Noun, a group of ships or objects on the water)


Task: Comprehension questions. Before watching the video make a guess to the questions below. Once done, watch the video and then check if your guess was right.

  1. In 1992 a ship sank and released a cargo of what?
  2. Where did the cargo go?
  3. How is plastic broken down?
  4. What is the first synthetic plastic?
  5. How many tons of plastic end up in the ocean?
  6. What are the six Rs?

  1. red beaver, green frogs and yellow duck plastic toys.
  2. Alaska and even the UK. Most stayed floating in the ocean.
  3. Sunlight small animals
  4. Bakelite
  5. 8 million tons
  6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rethink, Repair, Refuse


So, what do you think? Have you tried getting rid of plastics in your daily life? Did it work? Comments below.

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